Lately, we’ve been focusing on how the Washington Capitals were able to rebuild their franchise from a veteran club that was good enough to make the playoffs, but not actually do anything once they got there, to a team today that’s considered among the league’s elite.
So far we’ve talked to general manager George McPhee and captain Chris Clark, so today we wanted to share another unique perspective. Center Sergei Fedorov is probably the best Russian player in NHL history and is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. He’s also someone who played against those veteran Capitals team during his time with the Detroit Red Wings, so we decided to ask him just what he thought of those Caps teams of yesterday.
“I think they were a solid team,” Fedorov said. “I think if they would have stuck with that team they would have been able to do a lot of damage. But I think after they lost in the finals to Detroit they decided to change it up a bit.”
The Capitals team they decided to blow up had guys like Peter Bondra, Jaromir Jagr and Robert Lang. They had lots of talent, but it didn’t ever really translate into postseason success …
“No, no, they went to the finals,” Fedorov said of the ’98 Capitals. “They were a good team. They were a well-balanced team and had lots of veterans.”
If they were so good, how come your Red Wings team couldn’t let them win at least one game in those Stanley Cup finals?
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m playing for Washington Capitals,” Fedorov said with a laugh. “That was in the past.”
Now the Capitals have a younger team that seems to be much more dangerous and is more enjoyable to watch. You’ve been on championship teams, so let us ask you – what does this team have to do to get to that level?
“First of all, I see us competing every night,” he said. “Night in and night out we have to challenge teams and do little things better. So far we’re lacking in that a little bit on and off in some practices and games, you know. It’s normal for younger team, but in order to get better, we kind of need to be stable in our effort.”
Last question, how much longer will we have you in town for?
(Laughs). “Certainly until April,” Fedorov said. “And hopefully for four rounds of playoffs. After that, be my guest.”